Last night, I dreamed about the end of the world. It was just the two of us, my mother and I, walking along side the coastline, when the waves suddenly twisted sinisterly. I don’t know how I knew, but I said to my mother, “It’s going to flood.” So we ran and ran and ran, the ocean rising higher and higher just on our heels, until we reached an airport, private I think, because we spotted a private jet.
“Wait,” my mother said. “There are people.” And there were, I recognized some Japanese actresses from the dramas I used to watch, except they weren’t actresses, they were assassins. Suddenly, we were surrounding by guns and both of us began to cry. It seemed futile and anticlimatic to me that we would be felled by humans when nature was already so clearly gunning for us. One of the actress-assassins took pity on us and hid us in blankets. A sorry excuse for a hiding place in retrospect, but it seemed to work at the time.
The dream then shifted to driving and colleges and yogurt. It all made sense while I was dreaming, because sometimes I can tell if I am dreaming, but last night, I felt as though time was really passing by. It was so vivid, especially the driving part of the dream–I kept missing freeway exits and panicking and somehow I ended up at an Indian casino. I could smell stale smoke and hear the ringing of slot machines. I think I needed to get something on ransom, but I can’t remember what.
I was disoriented and confused when I finally woke, because I felt an eternity older, when in fact, it had only been a night. (I suppose Rip Van Winkle is an unsuitable title, because he only felt a day older, when an eternity had passed.)
It reminded me more of Murakami than Rip Van Winkle actually.
“Closing your eyes isn’t going to change anything. Nothing’s going to disappear just because you can’t see what’s going on. In fact, things will be even worse the next time you open your eyes. That’s the kind of world we live in, Mr Nakata. Keep your eyes wide open. Only a coward closes his eyes. Closing your eyes and plugging up your ears won’t make time stand still.”
Kafka on the Shore